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'Supermoon' Arrives Tomorrow

And for New Yorkers, it's time again for Manhattanhenge
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2014 11:40 AM CDT
'Supermoon' Arrives Tomorrow
A supermoon is seen in the night sky over Tel Aviv last year.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Look, up in the sky. It's ... supermoon. A full moon with that somewhat inflated title arrives tomorrow. As CNN explains, a supermoon is a full moon that happens to occur when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit. These full moons tend to look bigger than regular full moons, though it's sometimes hard to detect a difference, notes AP. If you miss a glimpse tomorrow, another will happen in August—that one should be bigger, says the Washington Post—and again in September.

The term supermoon got coined about 30 years ago but has come into vogue only in the last few years, explains a post at Astronomers generally stick with the more formal "perigean full moon," a reference to "perigee," the point in the moon's orbit when it's closest to us. So, yes, "supermoon" is a little hyped, but "if it gets people out and looking at the night sky and maybe hooks them into astronomy, then it's a good thing," says a scientist in a NASA statement. (If you want tips on how to photograph it, see CNET.) In another celestial treat, New Yorkers can watch Manhattanhenge sunsets today and tomorrow, reports USA Today. Manhattanhenge occurs when the sunset aligns with the street grid. (Click to see previous photos of the phenomenon.)

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